News Archive

  • 1 week
    PapierSam's "We Are Forever" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    We are impressed with today's story.


    We Are Forever
    [Equestria Girls] [Comedy] [Slice of Life] • 9,973 words

    The pilot episode of the Rainbooms' reality television show, in which the band breaks up.

    As expected, mild drama, washout humour, awkward pop culture references, and character bending to breaking point ensues.

    Read More

    4 comments · 1,244 views
  • 2 weeks
    Poptard's "A Familiar Feeling" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    I've got a feeling that you'll appreciate today's story.


    A Familiar Feeling
    [Romance] [Sad] [Slice of Life] • 11,142 words

    After months of pleasant dating, it's time for the inevitable meeting of the family. For Sugar Belle, it should be easy as cake. She's already met three of the Apple Family members, after all. She only has one more to win over.

    It's more complicated than that, she finds.

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    5 comments · 1,282 views
  • 3 weeks
    Undome Tinwe's "And the Serpent Said Unto the Princess" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story was too tempting for us to pass up.


    And the Serpent Said Unto the Princess
    [Dark] [Romance] • 2,785 words

    In the beginning, there was Harmony. Then Discord stole Fire from the Alicorns.

    FROM THE CURATORS: "Who doesn't like a good creation myth?" RBDash47 said in his nomination — and judging by our unaminous approval, this fic blew past "good" with room to spare.  Along the way, it picked up both top scores and praise like Soge's: "Oh boy, is this fic special in a way few fics are.  The multi-layered narrative, the allusions to all kinds of human myths, and most importantly, the twist at the end that brings everything into sharp focus. Everything works in synchrony to deliver the author's grand vision."

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    9 comments · 1,103 views
  • 4 weeks
    Celefin's "Track Switch - Steel Dreams" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is engineered to be quite a moving tale.


    Track Switch - Steel Dreams
    [Slice of Life] [Human] • 12,434 words

    Modern just in time supply chains require arcane logistics. The people I work for specialise in that special kind of magic. Me? I just make sure stuff gets from A to B. And I'm good at it. All over western Europe. Always at night. Always alone — just the way I like it.

    Read More

    6 comments · 1,172 views
  • 5 weeks
    Revenant Wings' "Reconstruction" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story assembles a unique look at Starlight's aftereffects.


    Reconstruction
    [Drama] [Sad] [Slice of Life] • 6,378 words

    The former equalized ponies struggle to reconstruct their town after Starlight Glimmer's defeat, and Double Diamond struggles to reconstruct his own identity after being freed from Starlight's equalization brainwashing.

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    2 comments · 2,175 views
  • 6 weeks
    Lost + Found Features: "Decisions" / "The Unicorn and the Crow" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    From time to time, despite our best efforts, we don't have a feature ready to post come Friday—but that doesn't mean we can't recommend some reading material! We keep track of the stories which passed our approval process but whose authors have proven impossible to contact. We'd like to give these stories their time in the spotlight too, so read on for two RCL-approved tales for your reading pleasure.


    Decisions
    By hester1
    [Sad][Slice of Life] • 2,818 words

    A server waits on six ponies in a restaurant. The diners have drinking contests and discuss social responsibility. The clock ticks ever on and on.

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    0 comments · 1,979 views
  • 7 weeks
    California's Camp Fire [Royal Canterlot Library special interview]

    Today's feature asks us to put the brakes on for just a minute.

    With the arrival of Thanksgiving here in the U.S., we hit the downhill portion of the holiday season: a month of rushing around that will see us all careening out the other side smack dab into the new year. We often take holidays off to encourage our readers to catch up (with friends and families, and on features from our archives), but this year, instead we would like to bring the focus on people who could use some help — those who found themselves in the path of the Camp Fire, which recently swept through the foothills of northern California.

    Horizon, who I'm guessing needs no introduction around here, works with a Search & Rescue unit in the Sierra Nevada mountains near the fire, and was called in to the town of Paradise to help comb through the rubble.  We've asked him to discuss his experiences, as well as ways to help those affected by the fire.  Read on for his photos and commentary.

    Read More

    36 comments · 3,091 views
  • 8 weeks
    Starscribe's "The Last Pony on Earth" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    The last stop for today's story is the RCL spotlight.


    The Last Pony on Earth
    [Adventure] [Mystery] [Human] • 102,429 words

    Until yesterday, my life was no different than anybody's. Go to work, pay the bills, sleep. Today, I woke up to a world without humans. The streets are empty, the power grid is running down, and not another soul is in sight. That might not be the worst thing, if I wasn't also a pony.

    Where is everyone? Why is this happening to me?

    Will l stay sane long enough to starve?

    Read More

    15 comments · 2,939 views
  • 9 weeks
    Tangerine Blast's "Under Layers of Dirt and Worry" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story worries.


    Under Layers of Dirt and Worry
    [Drama][Slice of Life] • 3,598 words

    It had been a long day of saving the world, and the usually perky pony wanted nothing more than to collapse into bed.

    Unfortunately, somepony's waiting at Sugarcube Corner.

    Pinkie was fine. She just needed to sleep.

    Read More

    8 comments · 2,031 views
  • 10 weeks
    Antiquarian's "The Tab" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    We hope you plan to pick up today's story.


    The Tab
    [Comedy] [Sad] [Slice of Life] [Alternate Universe] • 4,092 words

    Years have passed since the Crystal War ended. Twilight Sparkle visits an old haunt to spend some time catching up with her friends. Then comes the question of who picks up the tab.

    Read More

    3 comments · 2,010 views
Jan
11th
2019

Author Interview » Piccolo Sky's "The Sweet Spot" [Royal Canterlot Library] · 2:09pm Last Friday

Today's story will hit the spot for fans of the MLP movie.


The Sweet Spot
[Drama] • 15,679 words

The Cutie Mark Crusaders have dealt with all kinds of ponies having trouble finding their true calling in life, but none can compare to the special request they receive from Princess Twilight Sparkle herself, or the shock they receive on discovering who it is: Fizzlepop Berrytwist, possibly the most hated and feared pony in generations. Can a pony who's spent most of her life rejecting her true calling possibly find it now? Can the Cutie Mark Crusaders help a pony who almost everypony else in Equestria has rejected?

FROM THE CURATORS: Long-running series like My Little Pony often revisit their characters to explore their full stories on-screen.  But when a compelling character shows up in a one-shot movie, that offers fertile ground for fanfiction to dig in.  "This one is fairly simple on paper: The Crusaders help Tempest Shadow get a Cutie Mark," FanOfMostEverything said in his nomination.  "What follows is one of the best redemption arcs I've read in this fandom, if not ever."  Present Perfect was equally impressed back when he first read it: "I homaged it in my own 'Tempest Shadow gets her Cutie Mark' story," he said.  "As my first introduction to how that concept would play out (aside from the one in my head), it was a delight."

And while several curators thought the story could use trimming, it won us over regardless.  "Everyone, from the Crusaders to the background ponies, feels perfectly in character, and Tempest's struggle for redemption fits the series' best mold," Horizon said.  That characterization came in for repeated praise.  "I think that it more than succeeds on the strength of its characterization, and the way that this angle informs the conflict resolution," Soge said.  "It also deserves praise for how it eschews an easy solution to its central conflict, and how 'pony' everything felt. And, despite the bloat, it additionally works as a solid comedy in many places."

Regardless, it was the exemplary show-like approach which we singled out for praise over and over again.  "The vision of the 'Tempest episode' here is gorgeously realized," Horizon said, "and while the plot points it hits feel predictable, in a way that's part of its charm, making it feel less like fanfiction and more like a discarded Hasbro script."  Present Perfect went further: "It gave me everything I wanted, while also being perfectly show-tone and full of solid drama. Not to mention the creative approach to Tempest's special talent." In the end, FanOfMostEverything said, that led to a thoroughly satisfying story: "The ending feels earned, the dramatic beats are on point, and the whole thing makes you wish the show could afford to get Emily Blunt back for an episode."

Read on for our author interview, in which Piccolo Sky discusses dead space, failed coups, and Guard bandwagons.


Give us the standard biography.

Well, not much to say. I’m a 35-year-old Christian software engineer from the USA. Way back in high school was when I first started writing fanfiction. A couple years back I heard about the “Brony Craze” and eventually got curious enough to watch “Luna Eclipsed”. I followed it up with “A Friend in Deed” and “Putting Your Hoof Down”, and after that I crossed the hurdle and binge-watched the first season. As soon as I was done, I wrote my first MLP fanfic.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

Whew, long story. Way back in the 90s, when our family got its first Windows PC and we first got on AOL, the whole family used the same name for everything, and it was picked randomly off a book title on a shelf nearby: “Sky Knife”. Eventually, when I joined my first RP, I kept the “Sky” part of the name when I split off my own because I liked it. When I left the RP and created my own title, I was in high school and happened to be a fan of DBZ at the time, so I prepended “Piccolo” to it. Ever since then I’ve used Piccolo Sky.

Who's your favorite pony?

That’s a real toughie, but I’ll go with Rarity. She’s the most “real” out of the Mane Six to me, since the fact that she’s an entrepreneur and deals with issues of the ability to create vs. the ability to make money in a business relates the most toward the adult demographic of the show.

What's your favorite episode?

Still “Crusaders of the Lost Mark”. Sorry, “The Perfect Pear” ... you came close to dethroning it but not quite.

What do you get from the show?

To me, shows like MLP:FIM are part of the new ideology in American animation that just because something is “for kids” doesn’t mean it has to be enjoyable “only by kids”. It’s animation that is really made for everyone, which is a severe challenge for something that has to be rated Y and was originally created to sell toys. For years American media said that for a cartoon to be for adults simply meant it had to be too explicit for kids. The fact that more modern shows like this really have something for everyone to enjoy is not only admirable but, in a world of the filth-for-filth’s-sake that we get from most adult animation, is a breath of fresh air. It’s nice to watch a cartoon that entertains me without leaving me feeling dirty afterward.

What do you want from life?

Good friends, good memories, a life that leaves an impact, and hopefully to make a few people smile.

Why do you write?

I like telling stories even if I’m not the best in the world at it. Honestly, I get some enjoyment out of writing purely for aesthetics. I get ideas and I want to flesh them out on paper, and I derive joy simply from that. Even more than that, though, is knowing that someone was entertained by it and thought that I told a good story.

What advice do you have for the authors out there?

You’re going to think the first, second, or third story you write is your masterpiece ... and in five years you’re going to look back on it and be so embarrassed that you wish you could erase it from existence. It happens. Don’t get discouraged; as with all things, becoming a good writer takes time and practice. Congratulate yourself every time you finish a fanfic or story, because many authors never even make it that far even when they’re being heaped with praise.

What inspired “The Sweet Spot”?

After I got out of the “My Little Pony Movie”, I wanted to write a fanfiction about what happened to Tempest Shadow when she tried to re-integrate into Equestrian society. Initially I imagined a situation which would rely more on the Mane Six in which she would join the Canterlot Royal Guard, she would end up being way too “good” at her job, she would alienate herself from the other guards who would be hostile to her, and eventually she would end up coming through for everypony with her tougher attitude and they would all learn to appreciate her and accept her. Two big problems: (1) that’s virtually the same plotline as “To Change a Changeling”, and (2) everybody and their uncle was already imagining that Tempest Shadow would join the Canterlot Royal Guard. I tried to think of an alternative for a while when I was browsing around on Deviant Art and I saw someone on there suggesting that, with a name like Fizzlepop Berrytwist, maybe her special talent was soda. After that I got a different idea from imagining big, cold, ruthless Tempest Shadow wearing, to her own embarrassment, a cute little soda jerker outfit, and the rest of the idea came from there. Eventually, I realized I wanted it to be a Cutie Mark problem, and so the Mane Six got left by the wayside and the CMCs filled the void.

Why was it important for you to keep the story as close to the tone of the show as possible?

Like I said before, I admire the writers for that show immensely for being able to write plotlines that appeal to all audiences and yet are restrained by the Y rating. I admire them even more after attending a panel with some of them when I found out they basically have three different sets of executives constantly shooting down their creativity and yet they still manage to put out such high quality. To me, it’s “too easy” to push up the rating a little bit so that more adult themes and content can be put into the story. I wanted to see if I could write something people would like as much as the show, following the show’s rules.

Do you hope the show will get around to redeeming all its villains eventually?

If the show did that, I’d say it was insulting its audience. The theme of the show is, first and foremost, “Friendship is Magic”, so it makes sense that in the far majority of cases the route to defeating a villain is understanding where they’re coming from and connecting to them. And the truth of the matter is for most “villains” we encounter in real life that they aren’t genuinely bad people, so as a principle it’s good to follow. But not everyone. It’s always a good idea to try and be friends with everyone, but it’s naive to always expect everyone to be friends with you in return. Every once in a while, you’ll encounter someone who just has to be stopped from hurting other people.

Do you plan your stories out ahead of time, or do you prefer to let them grow during the typing process?

When I was younger I was more chaotic and let them grow from just a few core ideas. While I think that part is still important for creativity and vigor in the writing process, I don’t favor it so much anymore for longer stories because too often you just end up filling those gaps with dead space — only later realizing you could have done something much better or you could have cut that part out entirely. The worst part is that sometimes relationships between characters take an odd turn when you’re “improving” a conversation, and that ends up ruining what you have further down the line. For one-shots it’s usually OK, though.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I honestly never expected “The Sweet Spot” to get half the comments and likes that it received, and I just want to thank each and every reader who supported it. Never, ever, EVER underestimate the power of giving someone a like or a comment. Many times it has made my day, and made me feel all the effort I devote to writing (because it IS a big commitment even as a hobby) is all worthwhile.

You can read The Sweet Spot at FIMFiction.net. Read more interviews right here at the Royal Canterlot Library, or suggest stories for us to feature at our Fimfiction group.

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Comments ( 4 )
Majin Syeekoh
Story Approver

I APPROVED THIS STORY

IT'S NICE TO SEE THINGS I APPROVE MAKE IT INTO THE RCL

IT'S SUCH A GOOD FEELING

RBDash47
Site Blogger

4995282
You're doing the Lord's work.

I read this one. It was absobloodylutely amazing. RCL is a smaller thing now than when the fandom was bigger, and sometimes the recs miss the mark or aren't actually that good

This one on the other hand deserves every ounce of praise heaped upon it.

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